The highest point in all of Australia sits at about the same altitude as the average for the whole province of Loja, Ecuador. It doesn’t even come close to the lowest point in the entire city of La Paz, Bolivia, let alone the altitude of any of the surrounding mountains.
I like to tout these little trivia tidbits but am increasingly conscious of coming off as a total travel snob.
And ultimately, talking about altitude is just one of many meaningless comparisons and contrasts I could draw between Australia and the Andean countries. Describing or summarising cultural difference often feels besides the point. Using random criteria (altitude, money/cost of things, food eaten etc) to compare countries shows difference – but it doesn’t give any significance to that difference.
It is, however, a hint at the perspective you acquire after living in another place and culture – perspective that is difficult to articulate to someone who has not, well, experienced it for themselves. Providing a snapshot of all that you cannot begin to explain and that your audience cannot begin to imagine is, at least, a way to start a conversation on culture and living cross-culturally.